The Oakland A’s are on the lookout for bullpen help this week with the MLB trade deadline approaching, and it appears they’ve found some.
“The A’s are on the verge of acquiring left-handed reliever Andrew Chafin from the Cubs, pending a review of medical records,” reports Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. A’s insider Martin Gallegos confirms that there is a deal in place between Oakland and Chicago.
UPDATE 9:17 p.m. PT: The trade is now officially complete, the A’s announced. Oakland gets Chafin and some cash, Chicago gets two prospects.
Chafin is having an excellent season as a setup man for the Cubs. His low ERA is backed up by a sparkling FIP and great Statcast numbers (.249 xwOBA), and he’s converted 17-of-18 hold chances. Out of 20 inherited runners, five have scored.
- Chafin, 2021: 2.06 ERA, 39.1 ip, 37 Ks, 12 BB, 1 HR, 21 hits, 2.67 FIP
He was also an effective setup man for the Arizona D’Backs for three years from 2017-19 (total 57 holds, 4 blown, 3.46 ERA, 3.11 FIP), though a sprained finger cost him most of the short 2020 campaign. He doesn’t throw hard (92-93 mph fastball average), but he mixes a sinker, slider, and four-seamer to earn lots of weak contact and a strikeout per inning.
The A’s will send two players back to the Cubs, and one will be outfield prospect Greg Deichmann, reports Rosenthal. Deichmann ranked No. 9 on our preseason Community Prospect List, and in Triple-A this year he was producing at the plate but not in the expected fashion — normally a slugger first and foremost, he hit only four homers in a power-friendly league but got on base at an enormous clip (.432 OBP). He was Oakland’s 2nd-round draft pick in 2017.
UPDATE: The second player is pitching prospect Daniel Palencia. The 21-year-old right-hander was relatively new to the A’s organization, signed in February out of Venezuela, and made his pro debut this summer appearing in six games for Low-A Stockton. FanGraphs is optimistic about his raw potential.
The 31-year-old Chafin joins a bullpen group that includes closer Lou Trivino and setup men Jake Diekman, Yusmeiro Petit, and Sergio Romo. Chafin is earning $2.75 million this year, of which $822,000 is still due, and he’s got another half-million in bonuses that are likely to kick in; Oakland receives cash in the trade to pay some or all of that salary. He has a mutual option for 2022 at $5.25 million, but if either side declines it then he’d become a free agent.